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With a severe weather outbreak barely in the rear-view mirror, another round of heavy and gusty thunderstorms is rattling the southeastern United States on Thursday.
Storms that broke out one week ago, on Thursday, Feb. 6, produced nearly 200 incidents of severe weather, including more than a dozen tornadoes in the Southeast, according to the Storm Prediction Center. The severe weather was part of a multiple-day outbreak that left a trail of destruction over the South.
The new round of storms is forecast to ignite from the Florida Panhandle to southeastern Virginia in a fairly solid squall line Thursday into Thursday evening, but isolated storms could also erupt farther to the east and south.
Flash flood watches and warnings have been posted across portions of Georgia and upstate South Carolina, and a hazardous weather outlook was issued for piedmont areas of the Carolinas on Thursday.
This radar image from 8 a.m. EST Thursday Feb. 13, 2020, shows rain (green and yellow) and thunderstorms (orange and red). The line of rain and gusty thunderstorms was advancing southeastward. (AccuWeather)
An outbreak of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes is not anticipated with this episode. However, storms capable of strong wind gusts are a concern. Trees may topple as roots may not have enough grip in the wet soil.
The same storm system that is pushing through the Southeast on Thursday produced nearly three dozen reports of wind damage over the Tennessee Valley Wednesday evening, mostly from downed trees and power lines.
Brief, torrential downpours will also continue to pose the risk of flash flooding of small streams and urban areas.
The storms will first focus on the piedmont areas and the big bend area of the Florida Panhandle during the midday and afternoon and then finish up along the Southeast coast during the evening hours.
A very small number of the strongest storms have the potential to produce a brief tornado, according to AccuWeather meteorologists.
The storms are forecast to weaken somewhat while slicing southward across the Florida Peninsula late Thursday night and Friday. Still, a few communities could face gusty winds and a torrential downpour.
The line of robust thunderstorms is associated with a blast of Arctic air. The main thrust of the frigid conditions behind the front will be felt across the Great Lakes and Northeast, but temperatures will still tumble from recent lofty levels in the Southeast to close out the week.
It will feel like late January from Friday to Saturday morning rather than the late-April-like warmth that has been gripping the Southeast this week. Even over much of the Florida Peninsula, temperatures will be slashed by 15-20 degrees Fahrenheit.